Storms Force Production Halt at Toyota, Mercedes-Benz Plants in Southern U.S.

April 29, 2011
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama
A series of violent storms and tornadoes that tore through the southern U.S. on Wednesday has halted production at a Toyota and a Mercedes-Benz factory in Alabama. The storms knocked out power lines to the factories and shut down some roads, causing an interruption of supply deliveries, according to Automotive News.
The Mercedes factory, in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, employs about 3000 people and builds the M-Class, R-Class, and GL-Class SUVs. Production will reportedly be halted for all of today because suppliers cannot deliver parts necessary for the vehicles.
Further north in Huntsville, Alabama, the storm forced a Toyota engine factory to shut down. The plant, which employs around 800 people, builds V-6 and V-8 engines for the Toyota Sequoia, Tacoma, and Tundra. Power at the factory was lost Wednesday and may not be restored until after this weekend.
The storm also caused a temporary shutdown at a Kia plant in West Point, Georgia. The factory currently assembles the Kia Sorrento and Hyundai Santa Fe, and will also handle production of the Kia Optima sedan starting this fall.
Wednesday’s storms killed over 200 people in five states across the southern U.S.Automotive News reports that nearby factories owned by Honda and Hyundai were unaffected by the storms.

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